Unto the Lord

Oct. 18th.

Leaves twirled and specks of snow frolicked in breezy gusts of wind.

A warehouse, warm with conversation and excitement, welcomed the cheerful guests.  That day we celebrated a presentation of a gift before the Lord, the gift of a grinning, giggling daughter.

(We dressed her in “Sunday’s best”-a pure white dress symbolic of blamelessness before a Savior who made her clean by his blood when she repents and turns to him. This is our prayer, that she’d make the choice to trust and follow him.  As such, we asked others to hold us accountable in this goal of Christian rearing.  Just a random thought that passed through my head to validate the outfit…why do I always justify myself…hopefully God rids me of this as I instruct my child and it won’t be a generational tradition.)

God is the giver of all gifts.  We must present our thanksgiving because life is just so fleeting.  We are but a breath and so may we, with each sigh, render praise to God for another moment lived.  Four years we tried in anxious worry to produce this loin fruit.  Now, years later we hold the gift we yearned, prayed, and begged for. It seemed only fitting to set aside a day to celebrate her; knowing we must bequeath her to Christ’s care if we are to have any hope to parent well.

So there we, mother and father, stood with our precious babe in tow.  Standing on the stage, my voice trembled as I, in reverent anxiety, prayed blessings over my darling girl.  An audience’s eyes looked on and laughed, in good conduct, at my flustered praise.

Even when we fumble, with hours of careful preparation, God delights with and in us.  He knew the extroverted daughter he created really shudders with the spotlight.  Thankfully, the guest of honor beamed a radiant smile and took away the focus from the trembling mother.

Then the drum beat to signal the service’s end and the crowd dismissed, wandering leisurely, due more to misdirection than lingering to observe Fall’s canvas, to the outdoor festivities.  A brilliant hostess organized erect a tent in the blistery weather and asked her guests to continue the celebration.  To her surprise, friends and family gathered there, a fellowship around a bonfire and delightful food.

Overall, the mother, though weak and weary, was and is, grateful for the support and encouragement which surrounded her then and daily.  Friends and family rejoiced with the couple as the beloveds requested accountability to raise their daughter in the faith.

The wonder of God’s goodness, community, and providence will never cease to amaze this nomad.  She stands in awe with times like these, speechless, as shocking as that might seem for an extrovert.

It is my prayer that my daughter will have support like this and in it all, give thanks and praise to the one who freely bestows these treasures upon undeserving sinners, forgiven saints.  I merely tend to the needs of the King’s daughter and may I do so with his leading hand, not in my will but his.

Thanks to God above and those who assist me in this insurmountable task.

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Tattered Rags of Child Loss

There lays a woman writhing, blood soaked pads cluttering her feet.

The river won’t stop gushing and with it the expulsion of tissue.

She heaves sobs.

Shriveling lining exhales;  goodbye whispers.

Porcelain bowls, scrubs, or paper feet, all harbingers of sorrow.

Tears etch a wailing mother.

Gone, but not forgotten.

How many babes do you have? 

I stutter, one; always knowing in my heart that isn’t true.  With the start of the newest cycle I shudder.  Could this be one I never knew too?  Was it too early to be shown by a test?

October is miscarriage, stillborn, and infant loss awareness month.  I’m all too aware.  This scar will never be erased.  I carry, but yet don’t, him or her; no one knowing unless I divulge this information.

So I write this lament as a tribute to my fellow sisters.  It is a group we never wished to form or join.  Our fists shake and wonder why God could allow for such pain. Yet, in due time we remove our clenched hand, replacing it with an open palm of worship.  We give thanks for his knowledge, timing, and power.  We know not the plans he has waiting or the tapestry he’s weaving, all of life’s art for his glory.

Personally, if I don’t let go, I won’t notice the glimmers of joy in the eyes of my current squirming girl.  I won’t appreciate the prayer that was answered perfectly; she has the personality I begged to have from my Lord.  You see, she is my impossible girl; impossible if I had not had a previous loss.   So I pray I won’t keep her at a distance, spiteful for losing one just before her.  This girl is my scientific wonder and may I admire her, and in turn God’s greatness, as such.

While we forever wander in the quake of uncertainty, fearful of it happening again, may we never forget to observe what he has delivered to us or delivered us from.

Perhaps it is with my gift receipt that I utter gratitude.  There are some who will never rear the sown seed. I pray that they won’t be bitter, begrudgingly looking at my child’s smile because eventually I held my longing and their arms still hold lonely air.  I know the pain, in part; I don’t blame their frustration and resentment, but hope they’ll forgive circumstances beyond my control.  I pray she’ll forgive God and trust that he has a purpose for her life, even if it isn’t the personal plan she drafted.

Although, if you still gawk and sneer.  I address you to reassure you.

You are a MOTHER…even if you can’t give evidence to the world without quivering in vulnerability and disclosing personal tragedy.